Arena Report - The Rose Garden
WWE makes its long awaited return to the City of Roses tonight for an action packed episode of SmackDown. Also making a long awaited return to the Rose Garden is Portland’s own Rowdy Roddy Piper. In front of a raucous hometown crowd, the Rowdy Scot will be hosting a special segment of Piper’s Pit with guests Daivari and The Great Khali.
Aside from being the first visit to Portland since 2004, tonight’s show will be SmackDown’s inaugural broadcast from the Rose Garden. The last time WWE TV emanated from Portland was in September ’04, when the venue hosted the pay-per-view spectacular Unforgiven. On a huge show, Chris Jericho defeated Christian in a rousing Ladder Match to win the Intercontinental Championship. Later, Chris Benoit & William Regal defeated Evolution’s Ric Flair & Batista in tag team action and HBK beat Kane with Sweet Chin Music. In the main event, Triple H used interference from his Evolution mates and a Pedigree to defeat Randy Orton and claim his 9th World Heavyweight Championship.
Earlier in ’04, WWE brought Monday Night RAW to Portland. In a classic match between two of the sports all-time great technicians, Chris Benoit came out the victor when he forced Ric Flair to tap out to the Crippler Crossface. Also on the show, Trish Stratus & Chris Jericho won a mixed tag team match against Matt Hardy & Molly. In the main event, Randy Orton successfully defended his Intercontinental Championship in a Triple Threat match against Booker T and Rob Van Dam.
The Rose Garden, which opened in 1995, is the home of the NBA’s Portland Trail Blazers. The venue is a popular site for concerts featuring the best the music world has to offer such as Paul McCartney, David Bowie and the Rolling Stones. The arena sits close to 20,000 people for WWE events, and tonight should be no different as SmackDown is the hottest ticket in town.
Be sure to tune in tonight to find out what happens when hometown hero Rowdy Roddy Piper brings Piper’s Pit back to Portland.